The new Test captain of the English team Joe Root is hoping to lead the team out in the field excellently.
Root is hoping that his assistant Ben Stokes can learn some tricks and get tips form the dressing room when he features in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The Ashes series is over six months away but Root and Stokes seem to be planning ahead. Funny enough many would not observe this as the spotlight would be shone on Australian players after the ill-tempered Border-Gavaskar series.
Last year Ravichandran Ashwin, who is now injured, barely bowled but his leg spin was able to do the job. This time around at the Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) franchise, Steve Smith would likely keep a little distance after the series for dressing room advantage safety.
RPS signed Stokes for AUS$2.8 million this year. The England player would share the dressing room with Smith, and other Ashes rivals like Adam Zampa, Dan Christian, and Usman Khawaja. Smith would likely be the target of information siphoning, being the world’s revered Test batsman.
“Smith has become one of the best players in the world. In fact, he is ranked as the best player in the world and is just racking up the runs for fun. So the one thing Stokesy can do for us is make sure he finds a little weakness in Steve Smith’s armoury for us when we go down in Australia,” Root said.
Since Smith’s century in the fifth test in the 2013 Series, no team has been able to stop the skipper. He regularly goes over 71 and he has scored 19 Test hundreds since his unbeaten 138. Only Ricky Ponting’s 21 Test from October 2002 to March 2006 betters Smith’s three and a half years of century making.
Many say Smith is set to rival legends like Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor Ponting. Coach Darren Lehmann said Smith could equal records of the legends.
“He is right behind the scenes, he’s into it everyday, making sure everyone is okay. I’ve been so proud of him as a leader. He’s a different leader to Michael [Clarke] to Ricky to Mark Taylor to Steve Waugh. And he’s working out his own identity as a captain. But I’ve been proud of him, everyone has been proud of him,” Lehmann said.